When you picture someone who struggles with substance use, a thousand images could come to mind. Maybe you imagine your next door neighbor who seems lonely, your successful brother who copes with stress by drinking, your aunt who always has too much to drink at parties or you may even be picturing yourself.While there are certain populations that face more risk factors for alcohol use disorders and have a higher prevalence of substance use, alcohol addiction affect all types of people, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status and other factors.Alcohol addiction is a pervasive disease, and while it can affect anyone at any time, there are a few root factors and emotions that contribute to substance abuse that result in labels for types of alcoholic drinkers. In this article, we’ll explore the most common types of drinkers that you may come across or recognize yourself fitting into one of these categories.
Types of alcoholic drinkers
Understanding the different types of alcoholic drinkers is fascinating, but it’s also scientific. Researchers in Great Britain studied individuals who regularly consumed twice the recommended limit of alcoholic beverages. They narrowed down personality traits, triggers and stress responses into these nine categories.
1. The de-stress drinker
Someone who is a de-stress drinker is a person who has few, if any, other successful coping strategies for dealing with hardship in life. These individuals may begin drinking in an effort to induce relaxation, but the habit slowly overtakes the calming effects until it becomes an addiction. A person who is a de-stress drinker will feel the need to drink in order to unwind at the end of the day (or at any point in the day for that matter). He or she will feel unable to sit still and relax without a drink in hand. According to the research, these types of drinkers tend to be middle class men and women.
2. The follower
For this group of drinkers, the pressure to drink stems from social situations rather than stress. A person who is a follower will feel an urge to drink that stems from a desire to fit in with a group. Saying no to social events as well as the activities it entails (like drinking) will be difficult for a follower.While this sounds like a tendency of teens and young adults, this group is primarily made up of men age 40 to 59 who occupy a clerical or manual job. Those who are vulnerable to an addiction may fall into a drinking habit simply because it’s what their buddies do as a group after work and it’s an easy way to maneuver into the crowd.
3. The bored drinker
Passing the time is something we all have to learn to do and find value in, and those who feel restless with too much free time may be prone to becoming bored drinkers. Someone who picks up a drink when there is nothing else to do may spiral into an addiction as a tolerance builds.Many people responded to Covid-19 quarantines and stay at home orders by drinking in excess, simply because there were fewer opportunities to do enjoyable activities. Moreover, young adults tended to fit into this category best. Cultivating hobbies, maintaining a schedule and spending time with friends and family is a key way to avoid becoming a bored drinker.
4. The sad drinkers
Too often binge drinking becomes an emotional outlet for someone who is faced with sadness and depression. There is a high rate of comorbidity for depression and substance use disorders, which isn’t shocking when you understand the overlapping symptoms and underlying risk factors for the two disorders.Drinking to hide sadness can feel comforting in the moment, but in the long run it will only make problems worse.
5. The “old time” drinkers
This category of drinkers tends to be middle aged men that feel the need to keep in touch with their friends from childhood, school or work in the only pattern they know how, by drinking. Regardless of whether they share common interests, values, goals or stages in life, they may feel that drinking is the best way to connect and to keep friendships alive.
6. Social drinkers
Social drinkers, like followers feel a social impetus to drink. While followers are fueled by a desire to fit in, social drinkers may tend to feed off the energy of a group and may desire to be experiencing the same intoxication as others around them.These drinkers tend to binge in groups, and the research shows that the group is dominated by lower to middle class men and women that have recently graduated college or are still considered young adults.
7. Self-indulgent drinkers
This type of drinker craves stimulation and may feel discontent in a sober state. This type of sensation is dangerous and can lead to an addiction much more quickly than many other personalities. This person will drink to abandon control of his or her inhibitions. These are most commonly middle aged and divorced men and women according to the science. These individuals may attempt to stand out from the crowd in an embarrassing manner.
8. Tough guy drinkers
These men find drinking to be a pivotal part of their own masculinity and identity. Tough guy drinkers will spend the majority of their spare time at a bar. They tend to be more aggressive and will be the first ones ready to fight at minimal provocation. Tough guy drinkers may seek alcohol for emotional reasons, but a strong and stoic façade is always at the forefront.
9. Dependent drinkers
People who are eternally thinking of alcohol fit into this category. They may always be at a bar, find a way to drink secretly on different occasions and tend to only want to spend time with you if drinking is involved. All of their stories and memories revolve around binge drinking.
Help for any type of drinker
Whether you feel that you fit perfectly into one of these listed categories or you’re struggling with issues all your own, there is treatment that can help you. With personalized plans you won’t need a label of a certain personality and you can find healing that meets your needs.
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